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Jindan Murder: Protests in support of accused continue despite police confirms murder

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Jindan myrder case

Sirmaur: The Additional Superintendent of Police, Nahan, Virender Singh, on Thursday confirmed that RTI activist and BSP leader Kedar Singh Jindan was brutally murdered on September 7, 2018. The police has received the autopsy report but was yet to receive reports of forensic tests and call details.

As per the ASP, the accused first contacted Jindan phonically and asked him to come down on the road.

On arrival, he was beaten badly. When he fell on the road after losing consciousness, Jaiprakash run over Jindan thrice and the face of the victim was completely crushed,

the ASP told media.

The Special Investigation Team formed to probe this case has also recovered the weapon (iron rod) used to assault him.

The SIT said it has solved the case and only a few small legal formalities remain to be completed. On Wednesday, accused were taken to the spot to recreate the scene. Though SIT did not confirm it, a Hindi daily said all three accused have confessed their crime.

So far, total three persons including the up-pradhan of panchayat Jaiprakash have been arrested. Third accused Karm Singh was arrested on Tuesday by the SIT. All three are on a police remand till September 17.

Protests in Support of Accused Continue

Despite confirmation by the police SIT regarding the murder, there appears to be a bid to spark casteist unrest by protestors. After Bakras, another protest was organized in Sataun region by locals in support of the accused. The protestors want the police to drop charges of murder under Section 302 against accused. They also burnt an effigy of the MLA, Theog, Rakesh Singha alleging him of inciting casteist propaganda over the killing of Jindan.

Further, these protestors are agitating against the inclusion of charges under the SC/ST Act in the FIR. Under this Act, the family of the victim is eligible for Rs. 8.25 lakh relief. The Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj has already announced a relief of total Rs. 20 lakh, government job to Jindan’s wife, and free education to his children.

However, there is a resentment among the protesting group regarding this relief under the SC/ST Act. They are asking the police to drop the charges under this Act. 

At the same time, this group is maintaining that Shillai is a peaceful place and people of all castes live in harmony, which doesn’t seem to be the case considering their support to the accused. 

The case has provided an opportunity to fuel caste-based politics in the otherwise peaceful state. The protests in support of accused could create unrest among the SC/ST community.

Jindan Never Asked For Protection, He Had No Threat to Life: DGP

The Director-General of Police, HP, Sita Ram Mardi, on Wednesday told media that he never received any request for police protection from Jindan.

Jindan had met me in my Shimla office but never felt any threat to his life nor he demanded any security,

 DGP told PTI.

It’s pertinent to mention that the family of the victim had been maintaining that Jindan had sought police protection as he was receiving threats to life. It was alleged that despite request no protection was provided by police.

The police was facing scathing criticism over this matter. 

No Words Regarding Alleged BPL Fraud Jindan Tried to Expose

Amid a large number of updates regarding the case, so far no comments are being made regarding the authenticity of allegations labelled by Jindan against up-pradhan Jaiprakash. These allegations appear to be the immediate regions for this murder.  On June 29 this year, Jindan had held a press conference at the Press Club of Shimla. He had alleged that Jai Prakash had facilitated registration of well to do families in the Below Poverty Line category. Using BPL certificates, these families had allegedly managed to obtain government jobs along with other benefits. He had produced pictures showing bungalow and vehicles owned by the family.

He had told media that information regarding this fraud was received through an RTI. However, the district administration, police, and the State government is silent regarding it. 

Misc News/Press Release

Video: Fire Wreaks Havoc at Solan Mall Road

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Solan Fire Break out 2021

Solan-A fire broke out at the congested Solan Mall Road today evening, which engulfed about three shops including a medical store and garment and shoe shops. According to the initial report received from the district administration, the fire reportedly started from a medical store, which was closed.

People first noticed smoke rising from inside the building and informed the owner of the shop and fire services. By the time, fire tenders reached the spot, the fire had spread considerably to a large part of the multi-story building. Sounds of explosions from inside the medical store caused a panic among the adjoining shopping mall and people present on the scene. These sounds of explosions reportedly came from bottles of sanitisers and other flammables products kept inside the medical store.

No loss of life was reported.

According to a report, two fire hydrants installed at the Solan Mall Road for such emergency situation did not work, which led to delay in extinguishing the fire. Meanwhile, property worth lakhs in three to four shops turned to ash. It took over two hours to extinguish the fire with the help of locals. 

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), Ajay Kumar, had arrived at the spot. The exact losses were yet to be assessed. It’s pertinent to mention that the Solan Mall is a congested place with a large number of shops and the fire could have easily turned into a bigger disaster if it were not controlled. 

The cause of the fire is believed to be a short-circuit. But it would be possible to cite the exact cause only after an inquiry, if conducted. More information was awaited.

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Himachal First State to Complete Assessment of Snow Leopard and its Wild Prey

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Snow Leopard Population Assessment in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-The assessment of snow leopard population in Himachal Pradesh has been completed by the state wildlife wing in collaboration with Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) Bangalore following the protocol aligning with the SPAI (Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India) protocols of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Himachal Pradesh has become the first state to complete assessment of snow leopard and its wild prey.

The state has an estimated population of up to 73 snow leopards.

It is the first scientifically robust estimate of snow leopards and its prey for the State. Since snow leopard is the state animal, the study assumes great significance for Himachal Pradesh.
The exercise revealed that snow leopard density ranged from 0.08 to 0.37 individuals per 100 sq.km., with the trans-Himalayan regions of Spiti, Pin valley and upper Kinnaur recording the highest densities, both of the predator and its prey, mainly ibex and blue sheep.

This study covered the entire potential snow leopard habitat of Himachal Pradesh: an area of 26,112 sq.km., utilising a stratified sampling design. Camera trapping surveys were conducted at 10 sites to representatively sample all the strata i.e. high, low and unknown. The camera trap deployment over the mountainous terrains was led by a team of eight local youth of Kibber village and more than 70 frontline staff of HPFD were trained in this technique as part of the project. Snow leopards were detected at all the 10 sites (Bhaga, Chandra, Bharmour, Kullu, Miyar, Pin, Baspa, Tabo, Hangrang & Spiti) suggesting that snow leopards are found in the entire snow leopard habitat in Himachal Pradesh either as resident individuals of a population or as dispersing individuals navigating through these connecting habitats.

Another revelation from the study is that a bulk of snow leopard occurrence is outside protected areas, reiterating the fact that local communities are the strongest allies for conservation in snow leopard landscapes.

The NCF and wildlife wing collaborated in the effort and it took three years to complete the assessment. MoEFCC had launched the First National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India, on the occasion of International Snow Leopard Day. You can read the complete protocol here.

Snow leopard is the icon of high mountains of Asia. In India, they inhabit the higher Himalayan and TransHimalayan landscape in an altitudinal range between approximately 3,000 m to 5,400 m above MSL, spanning c. 100,000 km2 in the five states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. This area contributes to about 5% of the global snow leopard range.

Snow leopards occur over a vast, relatively remote and difficult to access mountainous area. Together with their elusive nature, this makes a complete population census of snow leopards an unfeasible goal. Even their distribution remains unclear. For example, recent surveys show that they do not occur in 25 % of the area that was thought to be their range in the state of Himachal Pradesh Their density is expected to be variable in space, dependent on several factors such as habitat suitability, prey availability, disturbance and connectivity. Variation in density across space also poses the risk of biased sampling, and, indeed, most of the snow leopard population assessments conducted so far across the world are biased towards the best habitats.

Feature Photo: Pexels/Charles Miller

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal Records 81% Turnout in 3rd Phase of PRI Polls, Congress Makes a Come Back in Theog MC after 20 Years

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third phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The third phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutes in Himachal Pradesh recorded around 81 percent polling on January 21, 2021. The elections were held in 1137 Gram Panchayats in this phase. The highest 94 percent polling was registered in Lodhi Majra Panchayat of Nalagarh development block in Solan district. This information was released by a spokesperson of HP Election Commission

District-wise, Sirmaur recorded 85% turnout, followed by Solan (85%) Kullu (84%),Chamba (82.8%), Mandi (82.7%), Una (81.1%), Shimla (82%),Una (81%), Bilaspur (80.3%), Hamirpur (78.1%), Kangra (78%), and Kinnaur (70%).

 Further, 48 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation also cast their votes.

The Spokesperson said that the poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state.

Counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on January 22, 2021, at block headquarters.

Congress made a come back to Theog Municipal Council after 20 years. While Vivek Thapar was elected as the Chairman of the MC, Reen Roy was elected as the Vice-Chairman. Congress has already registered wins in Rohru and Rampur MCs and Chopal, Kotkhai and Sunni Nagar panchayats.

Theog MC Polls 2021

Congress After Registering Victory in Theog MC Elections

The HPCC chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore, while speaking to media persons yesterday, said that of the total seven Wards of the Theog MC, Congress has claimed victory on four wards while remaining three Wards went to independent candidates. Congress alleged that BJP had left no stone unturned to pressurize, lure, and threaten elected members to gain their support. 

Rathore mocked at the defeat of BJP MP’s bother in Mandi district. Further, the candidate in Ghumarwin of Bilaspur – home district of BJP Chief Jagat Prakash Nadda-  had also faced defeat, Rathore said. BJP candidate in Sujanpur – home to Union Minister for State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur-could also not register a victory and lost, he said.

Congress also registered a victory in elections to Parwanoo MC. Kuldeep Singh Rathore, said that winning candidate Nisha Sharma joined Congress yesterday. She had won twice from the same Ward on BJP ticket. This time, she was denied ticket and fought the elections as an independent candidate. 

Parwanoo Counciloor Nisha sharma

Nisha Sharma Joins Congress

Rathore alleged that the government has been trying to threaten Nisha by registering a fake case of illegal construction. Similarly, husband of Chandrawati – another Congress councilor in Parwanoo- who runs a depot was fined wrongfully yesterday, Rathore alleged.   

While BJP has been making claims of victory on the majority of seats, Congress had been terming it as a bluff.  Also, it had been alleging BJP of misusing government machinery. Independent candidates are being bought and allurements are being given to winning Congress candidates, Rathore alleged.  

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